Berkeley Physicists Make a Radio 10,000 Times Thinner Than a Human Hair
By Bernadette Tansey | sfgate.com
Physicists at UC Berkeley say they have produced the world's smallest radio out of a single carbon nanotube that is 10,000 times thinner than a human hair.
Image not correctly scaled
Professor Alex Zettl led a team that developed the minuscule filament, which can be tuned to receive AM or FM transmissions.
The first song it played? "Layla" by Derek & the Dominos. Eric Clapton's unmistakable guitar riff can be heard on a scratchy recording of the nanoradio's output posted by Zettl online.
<< Listen to the 'Layla' recording Courtesy Zettl Research Group, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and University of California at Berkeley >>
Zettl said the device, built by graduate student Kenneth Jensen, is the first radio within the size range of nanotechnology, which covers inventions no larger than 100 billionths of a meter. The nanoradio is 100 billion times smaller than the first commercial radios of the early 20th century. It is a thousand times smaller than the most minute radios in use today, which are based on silicon chip technology.
The research team has no commercial partners yet, but Zettl said the practical applications of the nanoradio could include cell phones, climate-monitoring systems and radio-controlled diagnostic probes that could move through the human bloodstream.
"Maybe the kids will be wearing these instead of iPods, inside their ears," Zettl said.
As long as 10 years ago, scientists had managed to build individual components of a radio on the nanoscale, he said. But Zettl and his colleagues figured out how to make a single nanotube perform all the functions of a radio: It serves as an antenna, tuner, amplifier and demodulator. The demodulator eliminates any frequencies from a radio transmission except the signal to be played, such as a song.
"I hate to sound like I'm selling a Ginsu knife - 'But wait, there's more! It also slices and dices!' - but this one nanotube does everything," Zettl said.
The key to this feat was making the nanoradio work differently from conventional radio electronics. The first step in that old technology is to convert radio waves into pulses of electronic current. By contrast, the nanotube absorbs the radio transmission and physically vibrates in response, like a tuning fork or the tiny hairlike structures inside the human ear. The filament has one end mounted in an electrode, but the other end is free. Its vibrations change the patterns in an electric field created by a battery. The varying electronic patterns become sounds or music audible through headphones.
Jensen's choice for one of the first songs played on the nanoradio was "Good Vibrations" by the Beach Boys.
But there is indeed more. The nanotube can also function as a transmitter. Theoretically, thousands of nanoradios distributed through the air or in the bloodstream could send back signals about air quality or the state of a patient's cells, Zettl said.
Carbon nanotubes are immensely strong compounds made of carbon atoms linked in a structure that looks like chicken wire. The carbon sheets can be formed into hollow tubes. Zettl's research team tweaked the nanotube structures and found that multi-walled cylinders - tubes within tubes - were better for picking up AM and FM transmissions. Single-walled nanotubes were best for receiving the frequencies used in cell phones.
The team built a transmitter in the lab based on conventional electronics, and first proved that the nanoradio could pick up and play "Layla" about 10 months ago. But the scientists held the news for publication in the journal Nano Letters, which posted it online on Wednesday. Along with Jensen and Zettl, the co-authors of the paper were UC Berkeley postdoctoral fellow Jeff Weldon and physics graduate student Henry Garcia. The project was funded by the National Science Foundation and the Department of Energy.
Hear a recording of the first song ever played on a nanotube radio at sfgate.com/ZBKF.
Article from: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?
Chips push through nano-barrier
Nanogenerator provides continuous power by harvesting energy from the environment
Nanotechnology Risks Unknown
Nano-propellers sent for a spin
Team develops DNA switch to interface living organisms with computers
Better... Stronger... Faster... Popular Science introduces the engineered human
The next big bang: Man meets machine
Antique engines inspire nano chip
The Electron, Nanotechnology, and Solar Power
Douglas Mulhall - Nanotechnology, Our Molecular Future
MIThril, the next generation research platform for context aware wearable computing
Little Brother may also be watching soon
Wisconsin Bans Forced Human RFID Chipping
13 Diabetics Implanted with VeriMed RFID Microchip at Boston Diabetes EXPO
Baja Beach Club Microchip Implantation expansion plans
A Microchipped Population - David said this was coming 12 years ago and here it is folks!
Red Ice Creations Radio - Alan Watt - The Microchip & Technocracy
Red Ice Creations Radio - Kent Daniel Bentkowski - The Microchip Agenda
Hundreds of firms using nanotech in food
Latest News from our Front Page
Virginia TV Shooter Said, "Jehovah Spoke To Me That I Should Take Action"
What causes a guy to go off the plantation enough so that he would murder in cold blood, two of his former colleagues? Guesses are abounding, such as racial tension, mental illness, psychotropic prescription drugs, narcissism, etc. What about the angle of how a destructive religious cult shaped him in his formative years, so that later in life, he would ...
Invasion into Macedonia from Greece - Border Mayhem
Description from video page: These are the desperate scenes at Greece’s border with FYR Macedonia as overwhelmed security forces made sporadic attempts to stem the flow of invaders heading northwards.
Riot police set off stun grenades and hit invaders with batons but that did little to stop them passing into FYR Macedonia.
Skopje had declared a state of emergency on Thursday (August ...
RamZPaul: TV Reporter Murdered Live On Air
Youtube description: The gunman responsible for the live on air shooting of reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward said part of his motivation for the attack was Parker making “racist comments.”
Vid that killer made:
(note the actual shooting vid is being censored fast)
Jesse Benn advocating "White Wounding: just weeks ago:huffingtonpost.com
White House Pushes Race War, Then Blames Guns For Flanagan's "Race War"
"You want a race war (expletive)?" Asked shooter
The Obama administration is blaming guns for the WBDJ-TV shooting, even though the shooter, Vester Flanagan, was influenced by the White House’s race baiting.
The White House has been falsely insinuating that racism is the dominant factor behind numerous events over the past several years, even those that didn’t involve race at all, and ...
How Google Destroyed the Internet
The internet was created to resolve a simple problem: in communications networks, any central node through which all messages passed was vulnerable to attack or takeover. To counter this, engineers designed a network where any node would pass messages to other nodes, routing around any damage.
Then came commerce and the democratization of the internet.
Under this model, frightened sheep flock to ...
|More News » |